By Izabella Matheson
My recommendation when told to try something new, is to not only try it, but to embrace it. While this may sound cheesy and overused, it proves to be effective quite often. Though you may feel as though you will completely and utterly hate this new thing you are attempting, if you brace the situation with a positive attitude, you will always have a more pleasant time with it than if you prepare for the worst.
I decided to take my own advice on my most recently completed module, computer science, which is part of the engineering pathway. I questioned if I would enjoy the module, but I encouraged myself to face it with enthusiasm, which overall made the experience of the project better.
The module began with challenge one, where my two group members and I compared and contrasted simple and complex machines and defined computer science in order to have a better understanding of our task. We then moved on to challenge two, where we were assigned to create an interactive piece using Little Bits.
Little Bits are small, vibrant, pre-programmed mechanical pieces that when put together, can cause numerous different events to occur. Little Bits can brighten a light coil, cause a beeping noise, flashing lights, spinning of a small rod, and much more. I was instantly fascinated by their seemingly endless abilities, and knew that this module would be fun, incorporating them into our design.
About 20 rejected ideas and a few drafts later, we finally decided we were going to make a model Christmas tree. This tree, however, would be unlike any other; It would be illuminated from the inside out using Little Bits. Plus, the tree itself would be created using the 3D printer, which thrilled me even more.
We got to work, printing the Christmas tree and setting up the Little Bits. Once the tree was in our grasps after hours of printing, we spray painted its plain white body green and arranged the Little Bits to light the tree up by sticking a light rod inside of it. This process, which seems rather simple, was actually long and a bit frustrating, but the end product was overall worth it.
I am thankful that I went into this project with eagerness and determination. Through not only this module, but also the entire PLTW class, I have gained so much, learned to appreciate the power of having a positive attitude, and to not be afraid to try “a little bit of everything.”